Chief Executive Officer
John is Chief Executive Officer of Associations Forum and is one of Australia’s most experienced advisors to associations and charities and is a thought leader for the not-for-profit sector.
With a BCom (University of NSW), he has held senior management and Directorship roles with various not-for-profit organisations. Since 2000, John has trained and consulted to hundreds of associations and charities, large and small, on strategic planning, governance, board effectiveness, operations, restructuring and financial issues.
As well as engagement on specific projects, John’s consulting business undertakes whole-of-organisation reviews of associations and charities. John’s operational specialisation is developing plans that can be translated into actions, budgets and job descriptions. His change specialisation is in the field of mergers of associations.
Out of hours, John enjoys history, news and travel plus watching cricket and motor racing.
Christian joined Associations Forum in July 2015. As the Operations Manager he oversees and works on many of the activities of the business including events, marketing, benchmarking projects, database development, website development, member services and new projects.
Christian holds a Bachelor of International Studies from Macquarie University, for which he completed a semester in Spanish in Santiago, Chile. Christian also holds a Master of Political Economy from the University of Sydney.
Christian grew up on a farm in Northern NSW and has worked in agriculture, construction, hospitality, mining, and a start-up not-for-profit organisation. He likes to travel and has spent two years living in Europe, eight months travelling in South America, and has visited numerous parts of Asia and North America.
Manager - Client Services
Kathy is passionate about associations, having spent most of her career in the sector and seeing the good and often unrecognised work done by associations for the benefit of society.
Kathy commenced working at Associations Forum in 2004, leaving in 2010 to work at Governance Institute of Australia until 2013. She has also done stints at the Trade Association Forum in London and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Since returning to Associations Forum in 2013, she has worked on over 30 consulting projects helping association clients improve their structure, operations and governance.
Kathy started her career at Ernst & Young in legal and compliance after graduating with a Bachelors of Law & Business degree from UTS.
Manager – Client Services
Denys joined Associations Forum in October 2012 after an extensive and successful career in not-for-profit governance, management and lobbying in Australia and overseas. His status in the sector is reflected by invitations to speak on five occasions at the Davos World Economic Forum and the European Economic Forum. Since joining Associations Forum Denys has consulted with member associations on governance, constitutional reviews, board processes and strategic planning.
Prior to joining Associations Forum, Denys was the Executive Director of the International Council on Social Welfare for ten years, being based in the UK, Netherlands and Uganda. He also held chief executive and company secretary positions with the Council on the Ageing, Australia’s peak body for non-government disability services. Denys held senior management positions in a range of health and ageing related organisations in local and international context, including the Victorian public service.
Manager - Client Services
Adrian seeks to create excellence in organisational management and corporate governance. He wants to make a difference to the industries, market places and communities he serves. Over 30 years of professional management, industry representation and board support have prepared him well for the task of working with and leading stakeholders from varied backgrounds.
He is passionate about effective board governance, industry representation and lobbying and supporting small business development through common interest groups. Adrian's experience includes, Governance & Strategy, Change Management, Marketing & Member Acquisition, Communications & Media Relations, Policy Development & Lobbying, Member Benefit Programs, and Event Management.
Member Services Manager
Carol James has joined Associations Forum after 13 years as a General Manager for professional associations such as the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, and the Australian Council of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (NSW Branch). Furthermore, she has over 6 years in other not-for-profit (NFP) roles as an Executive Officer at the University of Sydney, and with Girl Guides Australia.
Born and educated in Perth, her initial tertiary qualifications were in Education. After moving to the Eastern States in the early 80s and progressing to senior management roles, she sought out post-graduate qualifications in Business Administration, and Governance Practice.
Carol is a volunteer, or fundraiser, for a number of charities and organisations: Bicycle NSW, the RSPCA, the Cancer Council, among others. She also assists NFP’s with Order of Australia/New Zealand nominations.
Member Engagement Manager
As Member Engagement Manager, Claire is working to engage members, build lasting relationships and assist in the delivery of services that are relevant to members.
“The altruistic nature of the not-for-profit sector, the dedication of the people who work in the sector, and the social good that the sector provides in Australia and around the world, are what excite me about working in the sector.”
Claire has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2009. She joined Associations Forum in February 2016 as Member Engagement Manager. Prior to that she worked as Member Services Manager at Australian Water Association. Claire also has 20 years tourism industry experience having worked in sales, administration and operations. This included 11 years with Captain Cook Cruises as Sydney Harbour Reservations Manager and Sales & Marketing Executive, and 5 years as Sales & Marketing Manager at Oz Jet Boating.
When not working at Associations Forum you can find Claire yacht racing on Pittwater, at the beach, catching up with friends & family, or working in the garden.
Finance & Administration Manager
Lynn Liang CPA is the Finance & Administration Officer at Associations Forum. Joining in June 2015, Lynn is responsible for all business finances and accounting for Associations Forum.
Lynn has completed a master's degree in accounting from the University of New South Wales. She has previously worked at Whirlpool Corporation as a Senior FP&A Finance Analyst and at Abound Land Student Service and Migration Centre as an Accounts Assistant.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Anuja Prasad joined Associations Forum in March 2017. She is responsible for coordinating marketing campaigns, e-newsletters, social media management, surveys and the management of associations.tv. She also assists in supporting relationships with corporate partners and managing event logistics.
Anuja graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Media, Culture and Communication from Macquarie University. She has passion for financial and political journalism and has written in the past for Australian Business Consulting & Solutions.
Philippa Shelley Jones
Philippa joined Associations Forum in April 2015 to edit the flagship publication Associations. Her role, which was expanded in July 2015 to Communications & Marketing Manager, now encompasses keeping Associations Forum’s large not-for-profit database up to date with all news, events and developments at Associations Forum and within the sector.
Philippa holds Bachelors of Arts/Laws from UNSW and worked for 13 years in the Sydney office of Clayton Utz, mainly practicing in the area of insolvency litigation. She has also worked as a contract editor for Lexis Nexis, as a Practice Administrator for a medical practice and, from 2011 to 2015, developed a children’s activity App called Kid Tracks.
Philippa has three children who keep her very occupied outside of her work hours. She loves reading, genealogy, travel and attempting to play golf.
Corporate Partnerships Manager
Blair joined Associations Forum in December 2016 as Corporate Partnerships Manager. Blair is new to the associations sector, having worked previously with not-for-profits in international development. Blair is responsible for managing sponsorship of our events and managing the exhibition at the Associations Forum National Conference.
Blair has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History, Politics and International Relations from Macquarie University. She is an avid traveller and has visited over 30 countries. She also enjoys history, particularly Ancient Roman and Ancient Chinese History.
Business Development Co-ordinator
Michelle has over 15 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. She joined Association Forum in April 2018 after successfully running her own business for 4 years. Credited with a strong strategic focus, Michelle has assisted a number of not-for-profit organisations to reach their full potential in the areas of membership development, marketing communications and events.
Michelle has considerable experience in event management, creating new revenue streams and driving new initiatives for organisations in the not-for-profit sector. Prior to running her own business, she worked for the AANA and the Biometrics Institute.
Before moving to Sydney to pursue a career in servicing not-for-profit organisations,
Michelle completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Recreation & Tourism) degree at the University of Newcastle and worked in tourism for the City of Newcastle.
Michelle loves to travel both locally and internationally. With two young daughters, her travels are now closer to home and when she is not enjoying her family Michelle enjoys reading, yoga and rock climbing.
Events Content Manager
Alexandra Larach joined Associations Forum in December 2017 as the Event Content Manager. In this role Alexandra is responsible for managing the content, such as organising speakers for the events, organising the programs and assists in event logistics.
Alexandra attended Macquarie University where she received a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media, Culture and Communication and Criminology in 2014 and a Masters in Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism in 2017.
Alexandra has travelled extensively and enjoys exploring new places and learning the histories of the places she visits.
Lucy joined Associations Forum in April 2011 as our Administration Officer and is responsible for processing all our event registrations, database management and office maintenance.
She has previously worked in legal prosecution in China and has completed a Bachelor of General Law and Bachelor of Linguistics at the Central China Normal University.
Lucy is looking forward to broadening her experience in the not-for-profit sector.
Patrick joined Associations Forum in July 2018 as Membership Officer on a year long work placement from the UK as part of his degree. He is studying Business Management with Marketing, at UWE Bristol, and is spending the year learning more about associations sector.
During his year with Associations Forum, Patrick will be responsible for maintaining relationships with current members, assisting with our member recruitment strategy and other projects.